Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 5/24/21
“The cost of living in the city of Bozeman is getting away from us,” City Manager Jeff Mihelich said at a recent city commission meeting, as reported by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Bozeman, a growing town that is no stranger to rising housing prices, has hit a wall. Workers are having to move further away from the city’s center and find creative ways to live, such as in campers or with several roommates. Meanwhile, employers are having a tough time finding workers. Despite a growing population, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry noted a shortage of over 10,000 workers compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Those trying to hire in the service industry say the pandemic took a toll on people’s patience for the type of work they do.
“Everybody else is hiring for the same positions, and there’s only so many people who want to work in those jobs. I’m sure COVID has scared a lot of people away from wanting to work in the public, and the fact that it’s hard to find child care in Bozeman is making it difficult for people who have kids,” Dawn Brown, human resources director at Montana Ale Works, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. “I think the fact that it’s so expensive to live here and there isn’t very much housing is definitely playing into it.”